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Cowboys news: Micah Parsons, Dallas defense aim for two feasts on Thanksgiving

The Cowboys play their most common Thanksgiving opponent this year.

Washington Commanders v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Key Matchups: Micah Parsons has opportunity to feast - Nick Harris,

Dallas defense is set to face one of the worst offensive lines in football.

FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys will welcome in the Washington Commanders on Thanksgiving Day for the 11th time in history on Thursday as the Cowboys look to push their winning streak to a season-long three games.

Opportunities exist on both sides of the ball for the Cowboys to take advantage of some weaker areas for the Commanders, but strength-on-strength will also be prevalent in other areas.

Micah Parsons vs. Charles Leno Jr.

No quarterback in the NFL has been sacked as many times as Sam Howell in 2023 (51 times), and if Micah Parsons wants to add to that total on Thursday, he’ll have to go through the Commanders’ most consistent offensive lineman in Charles Leno Jr. when lined up over left tackle.

Parsons will be moved around the defensive line on Thursday – as we’ve seen throughout the season – but he will mainly come off the left side in trying to get to Howell. However, Leno Jr. has allowed the least amount of sacks (3) and pressures (27) of all Washington offensive linemen.

Opportunities will exist for Dallas’ best pass-rusher, but it may not be as easy coming off the left side as it will be in different areas up front. Additionally, offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy has integrated much more quick game in recent weeks to get the ball out of Howell’s hands, but Dallas’ pass rush unit has proved multiple times this season that it doesn’t need a lot of time to crash the pocket.

Secret to Cowboys’ home success? Sleeping in their own beds - Todd Archer, ESPN

The Cowboys’ winning streak at AT&T Stadium starts at home.

FRISCO, Texas — Maybe you have seen Dak Prescott’s commercials for a national bed manufacturer once or a thousand times over the past few years. The Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback believes in a good night’s sleep.

With the Cowboys looking to stretch their winning streak at AT&T Stadium to 13 regular-season games with a victory on Thanksgiving against the Washington Commanders, sleep is one of the major factors.

Unlike a lot of teams, coach Mike McCarthy allows the Cowboys to spend the night at home and not at a local hotel before a home game.

“I mean, you’re sleeping in your bed,” Prescott said. “As simple as that.”

The Cowboys changed their normal protocol after their season-opening loss last year to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when they scored just three points. McCarthy imposed an “honor curfew” on nights before home games and they have not lost at AT&T Stadium since.

Players still have the option of staying at the team hotel the night before the game if they choose, but most opt for their own bed.

“That was a cool thing because he put that trust in us to be accountable, to be where we’re supposed to be, to be ready for that next day,” left guard Tyler Smith said. “Him doing that, allows guys to be at home with their families, and that’s been a huge focal point of his — family.”

Cowboys vs Commanders: 6 things to know about Week 12 Thanksgiving matchup - Ben Grimaldi, USA Today

Dallas vs. Washington on Thanksgiving just feels right.

The Dallas Cowboys have reached that point in the season. The annual Thanksgiving Day game has arrived and this year the NFL gave fans a classic matchup. The Cowboys will be hosting the Washington Commanders in an old-school rivalry game where there’s no love lost.

These two franchises have been battling for 55 years and this will be the first of two meetings, with the last game coming in the final week of the season. The Commanders are coming into the game riding a two-game losing streak, and have lost four of their last five, while the Cowboys are playing their best football.

However, as the old saying goes, one can throw out the records when these two teams get together. The Cowboys and Commanders have had some memorable Turkey Day meetings, and one never knows what to expect.

Cowboys’ most common Thanksgiving opponent

This matchup will be the 11th time the rivals have played on the holiday, the most of any opponent for the Cowboys. It’s also the team the Cowboys have beaten the most, going 8-2 in their first 10 meetings.

The first matchup came in the Washington franchise’s initial season of 1968, a game in which Dallas won 29-20. It took the team from D.C. seven tries to finally beat the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, a victory that came in 2012, by a score of 38-31.

After losing the first six games in the rivalry on the fourth Thursday in November, the Washington franchise has split the last four meetings.

DaRon Bland named NFC defensive player of the week - Myles Simmons, NBC Sports

The second-year cornerback receives the honor after tying an NFL record.

Cowboys cornerback DaRon Bland has tied an NFL record with four pick sixes in a season — the latest of which came in Dallas’ 33-10 victory over Carolina.

Now Bland has been named NFC defensive player of the week for the first time in his career.

Bland has joined Eric Allen, Ken Houston, and Jim Kearney as players to return four interceptions in a single season for touchdowns. He noted earlier this week that his next goal is to break the record.

Through 10 games, Bland has picked off a league-high six passes while also recording 12 total passes defensed with 38 tackles.

Bland’s next chance to take a pick to the house will be tomorrow afternoon when the Cowboys host the Commanders.

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott Reveals New Confidence Level: ‘Best I’ve Ever Felt!’ - Jonathan Alfano, Sports Illustrated

Prescott’s high confidence is indicative of his play on the field.

Currently, Prescott is in the midst of one of the best stretches of his career. He’s been tearing up opposing defenses over the past month or so, with 13 passing touchdowns to just two interceptions in his last four games. Often the subject of criticism, Prescott has quieted his haters with his recent performances.

Prescott will look to keep his hot streak going when his Cowboys host the division-rival Washington Commanders in their traditional Thanksgiving game. Ahead of this matchup and riding a wave of strong play, Prescott’s confidence level seems to be at an all-time high.

“The way that I feel, the confidence I have in this group, myself, [being in] the zone, I guess you could call it,” Prescott said on Tuesday. “Whatever it is — the coaches, the chemistry of this team, yeah, by far the best I’ve ever felt. It’s not just me, it’s a lot of the things around me.”

Here are the final injury reports for both the Cowboys and Commanders this week.

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